"The unexamined life is not worth having," -- Socrates
Here is in easy exercise to help you gain clarity and action steps on creating the life that you want. Apply this to any aspect of your life such as your work, your relationship with your partner, your role as a parent, your house… So for now, I invite you to focus on one area of your life. Think of that one aspect that is currently the most challenging. For many, it is their employment, so let's use this as an example.
Step 1: Write It Down
The first step in getting what you want and less of what you don't want is knowing what you want and don't want. Begin by drawing a line down the middle of a piece of paper from top to bottom. This will split the paper into two equal halves on the right and the left. At the top of the right side, I make a little smiley face. At the top of the left side I make a little frowney face. The happy face represents the things you like, while the sad face represents the things that you don't like or are ready to change.
Now honestly reflect on your job (again, the job is just the example). Delve into your feelings. Reflect and be present to what you are experiencing. On the happy face side of the paper, write down all the things about your current job that you like. Write down all the parts of it that support and nourish you. So for example, you may write down things like: I like earning money, my coworkers, feeling needed, being productive, working with numbers… Likewise, on the other side of the paper, write down all the things that you don't enjoy about your current job and things that you don't look forward to doing.
Items on this side of the paper may include things you don't like such as; doing the accounting, working too late, the chair you sit in because it hurts your back, that coworker that incessantly talks to you.
Yes, the first step here is all about gaining a conscious clarity about what is supporting you and what you enjoy, and what you are ready to let go of and change.
Step 2: Get Creative
Here's the fun part. Now look at each item on your list and ask yourself, "How can I do more of this?" or "How can I do less of this?". Get creative and come up with ideas to get more of what you want, and less of what you don't want. For example, for the chair that hurt your back, you could request an ergonomic assessment. You could get a new chair. You could have a standing workstation... How can you get the coworker to stop talking? You could speak to them request you save your conversations for lunch. You could put in headphones (even if nothing is playing through them)... If you hate doing the accounting, you could hire someone to do it. Outsource it or develop a system which requires less of your time...
Step 3: Get Actionable
Put action behind the creative options you have come up with in step two. Get it done and make it happen.
Step 4: Remain Mindful
With any given aspect of our lives there will inevitably be some things which we really enjoy him some things which we enjoy less. You may or may not be able to completely control these things. However, you can always remaining mindful of what you enjoy and like about any aspect of your life. Focus on the positive while always examining your life and taking steps to get more of what you want, and less of what you don't want.